According to the Asahi Shimbun, the long running manga, Naruto, is coming to an end after 15 years. Shueisha, the Weekly Shonen Jump publisher, announced this week that the last installment will be on November 10, 2014.
The manga chronicles the young life of Naruto from school age through teen years and tells of the adventures of he and his fellow ninja. The manga’s popularity is described in the article as follows. Naruto spans “70 volumes, the manga series had about 130 million copies printed in Japan alone as of September.” Worldwide, another 200 million copies were published. Naruto also spawned a TV show and 9 movies with a 10th debuting in December. The TV shows often expanded beyond the manga and delved in to sometimes more mundane but interesting adventures and side plots.
Personally, I’m a little saddened to see the end of the run because I enjoy rooting for Naruto as the underdog (I do it all the time). I like watching him share his message of friendship, perseverance and camaraderie in the face of powerful enemies and subversive villains. Somehow, I’ve found myself connected to this story and I’ve enjoyed watching the misfit boy grow in to an inspiration for his friends, his village and his nation. Wait, who am I kidding – I’m very saddened but I can understand why an author/artist would want to wrap up the series after 15 years.
Other fans, apparently more disappointed than me, have started online petitions. It appears this one was started before the announcement but has grown in popularity this week: https://www.change.org/p/masashi-kishimoto-give-us-naruto-the-next-generation
Also, some fans on the Shonen Jump web page are threatening to unsubscribe, which is not terribly surprising. I think it’s a bit over reactive but I suppose if that’s the only reason they read the weekly, then by all means, unsubscribe. I’ll choose to keep watching the TV show (hulu+) until it plays out. It’s often much more cool to see the animation in full color vs. reading manga anyway. There are some epic battles and inspirational moments yet to play out on the small screen (as well as the big screen on Dec 9), so Naruto won’t be totally gone, just retired from the manga pages.
(please note: featured image courtesy of rigoberto60.deviantart.com)